The day started with a gentle breeze that soon developed into a strong wind gusting to 30 knots from the ENE. Thankfully Ruth ditched her usual gym session this morning as today's four hour sailing effort was worth at least 10 gym credits! Ideally a few more crew to share the workload would have made the day more enjoyable......sorry for breaking you Ruth!!
We had good position for a flying start until the genoa sheet hung-up during the final tack on the approach to the line. That mast cleat just has to go! We made good progress on the first beat to Wedding Cake regaining some of the ground lost at the start. It was to be a long race of the 17.4M so still plenty of time to steal back a few minutes. On the run back to Middle Island the headsail was poled-out in the building breeze. The next beat to Wedding Cake saw the wind building 20-22 knots so we reefed the main.
We played with the genoa sail area and lead to find the best balance between speed and control! The wind swell was about 1 metre in the centre channel as RW ploughed through at 7 knots; at times waves crashing over the deck and back past the mast saturating us both....thankfully it was a hot day. We crossed tacks with several boats and gradually pulled back ground on the leaders. What a great old boat she is!
The reach to Salamander Bay was quick at around 8 knots and gave us a rest from the smashing we took during the last two beats. After gybing at the mark we hit 9.0 knots on the beam reach back to Middle Island so we were two very happy crew. The breeze was building to 25-30 knots as we clawed our way back to Wedding Cake still making up ground. We were knackered by the time we turned the final mark and the run for home so no poled-out headsail this time, just a broad reach to the NW followed by a goosewinged main whilst we surfed the swell all the way to the line.
There were 20 starters and 6 DNFs due to the conditions; several boats sustaining damage to their equipment. RW only raced in 2/3 races and scored a 2nd in race 2 and 4th today so thanks Ruth and Max, a job done well.
Christmas Series Race 3 results:
2nd: Goodlife 2
3rd: Thief of Time
4th: Rogue Wave